Prep Craze: Flannel Shirts

Ok folks….the way some of the fashion bloggers I follow have been talking up flannel this year you would think this new trend came straight out of NYFW….maybe it did….I doubt it. My father and grandfather wore flannel as a uniform from October to April every year. It was what my dad threw on to get wood for the stove, and what my mom wore over turtlenecks in the winter. My grandparents owned a farm in Maine so lots of outdoor work even in the cold. There were flannel shirts, shirts that were insulated with long underwear, flannel lined with quilting, flannel lined jeans, flannel hats with the ear flaps…and us kids all had flannel shirts, pajamas, nighties, shorts, and of course sheets. I had a set of mocha flannel sheets that came out in the fall and I would have my mother wash and dry them in the same day so I didn’t have to use other sheets ūüôā

This year, flannel shirts seem to be on everyone’s fall essential lists, in everyone’s instagram posts. This was all well and good until I clicked on a particular blogger’s link to their flannel shirt and found out that it was $168…..it was under a sweater, under a Barbour…..only the collar and tails of this shirt were showing…..$168. Was it free? I don’t know, I didn’t see the tell tale c/o after it.

Guys, please don’t spend that much on a flannel. If you spend that much, you are doing it wrong. These shirts are soft on dry chapped skin in the winter, and I love them, but if you are paying that much for one, it should like….also massage your shoulders or something. These are casual, comfy shirts…save that money for a nice dress shirt for an upcoming occasion/interview, not on a flannel. Oh and just an FYI, not all plaid shirts are flannel, and not all flannel shirts are plaid ūüėČ

Here is my small collection of flannels:FullSizeRender-7

Top two shirts are from¬†Old Navy Classic Flannel. They are all less than $30. They are very lightweight, which some people will like, some people won’t. They fit me ok, but the button over my chest kinda pulls which is crappy, but going up a size would make it too big. That being said, for the price, they are awesome under sweaters and under vests. A lot of us are wearing these shirts like that anyway.

Third one down was a present from my sister, the¬†Eddie Bauer Stine’s Favorite Flannel Shirt. These fit me perfectly, they are on sale right now for $45, some great colors (I love the Atlantic!), and they are a little more substantial than the Old Navy shirts.

Finally, the bottom one in one of my favorite plaids, blackwatch, is the LLBean Scotch Plaid Shirt, Slightly Fitted. They are $44.95, great price for the quality. They also have this shirt in a relaxed fit. Pay attention to the size chart for LLBean because I go down a size for their clothing. This is a heavier weight shirt, closer to a true old school flannel shirt. I will definitely get more of these in future years.

Oh! Here is the¬†J Crew Flannel Shirt¬†I mentioned earlier. Its from the Thomas Mason for J Crew collection, so I guess if you are into that, then maybe $168 isn’t bad. J Crew does have other flannel shirts in the $80s, Orvis clocks in at $79. J Crew Factory have the¬†Factory classic button down¬†in flannel for $41.50, but a bunch of colors are backordered already.

Flannel came from the British Isles, worn by people who worked outside and wore these to stay warm in the rough weather often found in that area. If all you want flannel shirts for is to wear under a sweater or a vest, go cheap and lightweight, better for your wallet and your body temp if you work inside.

Annnnd to end this prep craze post, here is a beautiful pic of the Nashua River today from my trail run with the pup. Such a nice afternoon run.

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Happy Wednesday everyone! We are almost through the work week to the Columbus Day weekend!!

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Prep Craze: The Quilted Riding Vest

I am really just getting on board with the whole layering with vests for normal activities business. For as long as I can remember, down puffy vests were for xc skiing and quilted water repellent vests were for horseback riding. When I realized people wore these vests around just normally and even indoors I didn’t jump on this trend right away. I did have some fleece vests which are just so comfortable over a nice long sleeve in the cooler months, but anyways, back to the quilted vest…

I always thought that quilted vests were insulated, but not necessarily down, light and usually water repellent. Down vests are super warm but most lost their loft when they get wet. A lot of what you see at stores for people buying these vests just for everyday layering are vests that are just for fashion- they are not water repellent like a nice quilted vest and not super warm like a nice down vest.

So this is the quilted vest that I ride in, especially in the indoor in the winter for only $39.99- Riding Sport Quilted Vest. The tack stores that we buy our stuff from around here, Dover Saddlery & Smartpak have a bunch of different quilted & down vests for really great prices.

As far as what other stores are offering, LLBean has a bunch of vest options. Here is there basic quilted riding vest at $109- Quilted Vest

LLBean also has a waxed cotton down vest that I would really like to check out, a little more pricey at $149, but it looks nice- Upcountry Waxed Cotton Down Vest

Here is the very popular J. Crew take on the vest, it is quilted and insulated with down for $120 although there is a 25% off sale going on- Excursion quilted down vest This vest also comes in a gray flannel and buffalo check.

Eddie Bauer I feel is often overlooked for people shopping around for whatever the latest prep craze is. They have some nice looking quilted vests. This one is $99 and is a tweed sort of pattern Year-round Field Vest (might go on my Christmas list :)and then their other colors Year-round Field Vest in colors. These are actually really nice looking because they are insulated & water repellent.

Finally, this is the one I just recently purchased from J. Crew Factory in navy. It was on sale 35% off with free shipping which made it $63! Not too shabby! Its comfortable, warm but not too toasty and not water repellent- Quilted Puffer Vests There are other colors, some prints like the very popular herringbone, very nice for the price.

I tried the quilted vest from Old Navy ¬†thinking I was really getting a steal, but honestly, the material felt very cheap and it was a very boxy fit on me, so I spent a little more for the J. Crew Factory vest. Here’s the Old Navy one-¬†Quilted Vest. Its $28…its the right look but just didn’t work on me.

My advice would be to look for sales on the J. Crew vests, they are really nice but I wouldn’t pay full price. Dare to be different though! Check out the quilted vests at Dover Saddlery and Eddie Bauer! Be the one girl in your group with a cheaper vest that looks unique, don’t be afraid to stand out AND save some dollars!

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